It had been two weeks since they had taken off running from Esok and Liliana and Jace had asked as many questions as they could, relearning everything about their home and family. By the time they reached the first village along the way around the harbor they had been brought up to speed on everything and everyone they needed to know and they had both had flashes of memories as they were told stories and in their dreams.
“Trevetolua Makustajat.” Said a soft voice. The three turned and found themselves face to face with an elf. She stood five foot nine with crystal blue eyes and flaxen blond hair that flowed around her stunning features. She gave a soft smile as they stared at her. “Nimin on Esyae.” At their blank looks, she gave a soft giggle before she spoke again. “I am sorry; I did not realize you did not know our language. You must come from a far land since many humans along the borders know some greetings.”
“You could say that.” Alexander nodded. “My name is Alexander, this is Lily and Jace. It is our pleasure to make your acquaintance.” He bowed his head followed a split second later by both Liliana and Jace.
“The pleasure is mine, Alexander. My name is Esyae.” Alexander nodded with a small smile. “What brings you three to this land?”
“We are passing through. You see we got turned around and wound up very far from our home.” The elf nodded. “Could we ask for shelter to rest and food to gain our strength before we continue?”
“Yes, of course.” Esyae nodded. “Follow me, I will show you where you can stay.” She led them through the brilliant little streets towards an elegant building. “This is the inn. You will find accommodations to rest as well as plenty of nourishment to gain your strength for your coming travels.”
“We thank you, Esyae.” Again, Alexander bowed, followed by the twins. Esyae gave a curt bow before she left them be. “Alright, come on. Let’s get some food and sleep before we keep moving.”
“What’s this town called?” Liliana asked as she took in all the sights around her.
“This is Ashesera. It’s a village in Valonde. We’re going to stay here for a day or two before he head for Calqua. It’s the last place I heard Arthur might be.” The twins nodded before the three went to bed.
That night Liliana and Jace were tossing and turning, groaning and moaning before they both sat up in a cold sweat. They looked at each other before they heard yelling and screaming from the streets. They jumped to their feet, as Alexander started awake. The tree ran to the window looking down at elves running around holding weapons calling to others. “What’s going on?” Liliana wondered.
“I don’t know but I think we should find out.” Alexander said as he grabbed his boots and left only returning a few minutes later looking worried. “Get your stuff we need to go. Kalman is working his way through the forest on his way here.” The two hurriedly grabbed their things and started running down the stairs with Alexander as they looked for a way through the village to escape. “This way.” He said as he led down a side street just a bang was heard at the other end of the village. The three ran as fast as they could into the forest, disappearing from sight.
Alexander was trying to keep Liliana and Jace going through the dense forest but they had been going in circles for three days and they were out of food and water, they were exhausted and could not keep their bodies moving. Jace was first to drop followed by Liliana and finally Alexander. All three unconscious.
Liliana sat up quickly with a gasp. The door to the little cabin opened and a man walked in and stopped to stare at her. She furrowed her brow as he came closer. “I remember…”
“I listed the spell while you were sleeping.” He smiled. “Alexander told me everything. I’m so glad you’re safe.” He pulled her into a tight hug.
“Thank you uncle.” She said softly. “Can I see dad?”
“He’s not here.” The two looked at the doorway and found Christoph. “It’s been years since I’ve seen you. You grow more beautiful every day.” He walked closer. “But you still shouldn’t be here.”
“Not like we really had a choice. Kalman was chasing us. The only place safe would be with our family. Where’s dad?” Jace asked as he slowly sat up holding his head.
The two looked at each other before Jace sat up and looked over. “Let’s talk outside, since Jace has decided to join us.” Their grandfather said. Once outside they reunited with Alexander and waited to hear what happened to their fathers. “So the three of you managed to cause another uproar.” He said as he watched Alexander walk over to his friends.
“It was the only safe place we could think of, Lord Christoph.” Alexander explained.
“Don’t play fancy with me boy.” Christoph smiled at the young man. “I know your father taught you well in manors and skills. You’re a smart boy I know you wouldn’t have brought them here unless you had to.”
“So what exactly is going on here? Kalman said some stuff that made it sound really bad.” Jace looked between his uncle and grandfather, waiting for them to answer.
“It started little over six months ago.” Arthur started. “Zinnia and Kalman managed to get through the defenses. Your father had used all his power to save who he could, he didn’t have the power to fight back when our mother found him. She took control of his mind and the kingdom. We barely escaped.” He looked at Alexander, “Your father was helping us formulate a plan to get my brother back. He went to a city to talk to a man he thought could help. The guard took him.”
“We have to get them back.” Liliana said.
Her grandfather shook his head. “You need to hide.”
“Where? You sent us away and now the crazy Witch has control. Where do you purpose we run off to next to hide like children?” Her anger was growing. “We’re not children anymore.” The two men stood, looking at her.
Christoph walked up and put his hands on either arm, giving a small smile. “No you’re not children anymore. I know you’re strong but at this point you would be sucked dry of your powers and killed. Zinnia then would be able to control not just Uyrilia but worlds across galaxies.”
“You’re too precious to lose, not just for the power you two hold but for who you are to us. Your mother died to protect you. We would do the same because we love all three of you. But that would give her more power.” Arthur explained.
“I can’t sit back while dad’s in trouble. And what about Max?” She looked between the two. “We deserve to help rescue our fathers. They don’t know anything about us. For all they know we’ve been trained since we were hidden to use our powers and they have no idea exactly how strong we are since there’s no one with our power. We could help and get Maximus and our dad out.” She explained but she could see the doubt in her grandfather’s eyes as he was about to turn her down.
“It could work.” They heard Arthur’s voice from behind them. “She’s right; they don’t know anything about them. They could have their full power by now for all they know. All we really need to do is teach them a few spells and refresh their skills with weapons and it should be enough.” Christoph started shaking his head as Arthur looked at the dejected teens. “At least give them a chance. They made it here with no knowledge or skills haven’t they?”
Christoph sighed, contemplating what to do with the three teens. “You will have one month to prove you’re powerful enough to help. It I deem you unfit you will go into hiding once more, without a fight.” He waited for the three to nod in agreement. “Good. And since you’re all for it, Arthur, you’re in charge of training them.” He smirked and left the four alone to begin the lessons.
“Okay, you three. This isn’t going to be easy. Follow me and we’ll start.” He led them back into the little cabin to gather what they needed and to start their first lesson.
The month flew by and Arthur couldn’t believe how fast they were learning, nor the power even Alexander was showing. “I don’t care what he says, I’m going to get Max and my dad.” Liliana told the other two teens.
“We’re with you.” Jace agreed. He and Alexander had talked about what they would do; they knew exactly what they had to do in order to save their fathers.
With a deep breath, he walked out into the clearing making the three stop playing around and look at him expectantly. He gave them a stern look before walking past them and into the cabin where Arthur was sitting, reading a book. “I thought you were supposed to advise them.”
“I did.” Arthur answered without looking up. “They have been advised and taught as far as they can manage with the power they have. Which is nearly as close to the amount I had when my powers were first unleashed.” He looked up at his father who stood by the window watching the teens. “They have learned everything they could possibly need to know and then some. They’ve proven by far that they are not only capable but determined to be a part of this plan.” Christoph gave one quick nod. “What do you think? Have they proven themselves to you?”
Christoph gave a slight smirk before he walked back out of the cabin making a smiling Arthur follow him, stopping at the door to conceal his expression before following his father to meet the teens. “I’ve heard about your abilities and I’ve seen your skills. I’ve made my decision.” He started making the three look worried. “I remember you three doing what you wanted, running around getting into whatever trouble you could find. Seeing how you’ve fit yourselves right back where you started I have no choice but to let you be part of this.” The three cheered and smiled happily. “However.” He cut them off. “You will follow what we say and follow the plan to the letter. Got it?” The three nodded quickly before he gave a smile. “You’ve done more than I thought you could. You are your parents’ children.”
“Alright, get your stuff together and we’ll get moving to meet with the crowd.” Arthur told them and watched them run off to grab their bags they had accumulated over the last two months. “They really need this chance. They need to be able to see who they are and the others need to see that they are still here.” Christoph just nodded. “Now we need to worry about enemies, and the courts with their stuck up manors.” He scoffed making Christoph smile at his son hate of the etiquettes of high courts.
“Well it’s a good thing you’re neither king nor heir.” Was all he said before he left his son to roll his eyes before gathering the three chatting teens.
“Whoa.” Alexander paused looking around.
“Lords and ladies, I present to you Princess Liliana and Prince Jace.” The room burst with murmurs. “Please, please.” He called out, silencing the room. “We are planning a movement that will bring us our King.” He paused. “Who will stand and bring the crown back to the rightful person?”
The room was silent before a young man they recognized stepped forward. “I will aide you.” He said as he bowed. A small smile tugged at Liliana’s lips as she looked at the young man she had seen back in school. The young man she had played with so long ago. The two brothers who helped them escaped stepped to either side and bowed.
An old man said, “I will lend what aide I can but I cannot go with you.” Suddenly the entire room bowed.
“That is all we could ever ask Duke Gideon.” Christoph smiled, “Prince Robert, would you and your brothers join us on our journey?”
“We are for you to command.” Robert said as he raised his head, locking his crystal blue eyes with her golden brown ones.
“We will leave in two hours time.” Arthur announced. The inn cleared slowly as to not call notice as they disappeared into the night.
“Alright, let’s get going.” Arthur said to their group. “I have a buddy who’s sailing down the Qlups Sea and is willing to risk bringing us aboard and smuggle us into Vrahl.” He explained as he led the way through the streets. He pulled the hood of his cloak up making the others follow suit as they broke into two groups, one following Christoph and the other following Arthur towards a large ship at dock. Arthur walked up with Jace, Liliana and Alexander behind him.
“This doesn’t look that friendly of a place.” Alexander whispered but saw Arthur shake his head in response.
“Kitashta prissini kaiken tieden.” Arthur said to a tall figure with elegant features, jade colored eyes and bronze blonde hair that flowed down to the middle of his back. His sharp eyes looked over the four figures a minute before he smirked.
“It is not good manor to insult an elven prince.” Arthur chuckled as they clasped hands. “It is good to see you, old friend.”
“And you as well, Symkalr.” Arthur glanced behind him. “I believe you remember these three troublemakers.” Just as the elf’s eyes turned on them, Jace saw a flash of a memory of the man. He remembered the man coming to visit his father. Jace and Liliana started arguing and Alexander tried to jump in on Jace’s side only to make things worse. As Arthur and their mother tried to calm them, they started pushing and shoving, knocking into a server who sent a pitcher of wine toppling into Symkalr lap. The elf prince did not seem to find it amusing although Arthur and their father found it hysterical.
Symkalr’s hard eyes seemed to soften as he looked at the three. “I remember the last time they were around they had a pitcher of wine poured in my lap. I recall their father as well as yourself found it hysterical.” He turned his gaze back to Arthur who had started laughing. Symkalr slowly smirked before he turned. “Come I have rooms set aside for you and the others. We will be leaving in a few hours so you have some time to get settled and gather what you need from the village.” Arthur nodded and started towards the ship only to be stopped. “Just keep these three away from pitchers of wine.” Arthur nodded and laughed as he continued onto the ship where they were taken to their rooms.
Several hours after exploring the ship, Liliana was sitting on a bench looking out at the ocean while everyone wandered the market and talked to others. She sighed; she just wanted things to be normal she wanted to be with her father, she wanted to be happy. She wished she were never born with her powers, it would mean her mother would not have been killed, she and Jace would have lived happily with both their mother and father, and they would have been raised as prince and princess. They would not have to hide or fight every time they turned around. She was glad to have Maximus care for them as they grew up and to have him teach them all he could about their home and themselves but it would not change the fact that things would have been better if none of it ever happened.
Someone sat beside her making her turn to look at them. It was a tall man with close cut jet-black hair. He wore fine clothing of a noble and he just sat beside her with a deep sigh before turning to look at her with graphite grey eyes. “Oh, I’m sorry. Was this seat taken?”
“No.” She said softly before looking back out at the ocean.
“Julian’s the name.”
“Troubled?” He asked making her turn to face him again, unsure what to say. “You look like you’re feeling troubled.” She gave a soft sigh and looked away. “I know I’m just a stranger but perhaps you’d like to talk about it?”
“I feel lost. I wish I wasn’t born as me, it would have saved lives and given others a chance at a normal life. I just…”
“What if I could make it all better?” He asked making her look at him. His eyes seemed to draw her in, she could not look away. “I can make it all go away.” He said softly and she felt her body relax. “Would you like that?” She nodded. “Come with me and it will all be better.” He stood up and watched her follow. He led her to the water’s edge and as he stopped at the edge of the dock, he offered her his hand. She slowly reached out to take it but someone pulled her back.
With a gasp, she looked around to find Robert pulling her back as Ryan pulled his sword. “What…?”
“He’s an Enchatador.” Robert said as he helped her stand up right.
She tried to take her weight but her body would not listen. “Why am I so drained?” She whispered as Robert gently set her on the ground and pulled his own sword.
“Go back to your own realm or find out what I do to Enchatador who try to take people around me.” Julian glared at the two princes before he stepped off the dock and was gone. Robert turned and knelt beside Liliana again as Ryan stood to her other side.
“I can’t move, I feel so tired.” She whispered as she felt like she was falling asleep talking.
“Stay awake.” Robert said as he pulled her into his arms and walked away from the ocean to set her down by the forest on the outskirts of town. “Enchatador take people to their realm and feed on their lives. They slowly drain them until there is nothing left. It’s worse for those who have powers. As they drain the life, they pull the powers and use it to keep the person alive so they can pull more and more life. It’s said to be excruciating and the more power you have the more painful it is.” Robert explained as he sat next to her. “Ryan, grab some water.” His brother nodded and ran off to do as told.
“So I guess you just saved my life.” She looked at him and gave him a soft smile. “Thanks.”
“No problem.” He said as he glanced back where his brother had gone. “Feeling better?”
“Yes. My energy is coming back. I still feel tired but not like before.”
Robert nodded as Ryan ran back with a water skin. Robert took the skin and gently helped her sit up to take a drink before laying her back against the tree again. “You should feel better soon.”
“Thanks.” She said as she sat up on her own. “I’m feeling much better.”
Robert helped her stand up making her give him an appreciative smile. “You have to take it easy for a while but no harm done. Just be careful.”
“Hey, can we… keep this between us?” Robert nodded with a small smirk as Ryan smiled and nodded. “Thanks.” She said taking her weight.
“We better get back to the ship. We should be heading out soon.” Ryan told them. The two nodded and together they walked to the ship to meet with the others and start their long journey to rescue her father and the man who was like an uncle to her. She could not believe that only a few weeks ago she had been saying how much she hated him and how he walked around as if he ruled the school. She gave a small smile as she watched Robert walk away. He was not that bad after all.
Liliana sighed and left the boys carrying on in the mess hall. She stepped out onto the deck looking out over the vast water. She had never imagined she would have stumbled into a world long forgotten and on her way to rescue her father from an evil queen. She shook her head as she rested her arms on the rail and her chin on her arms. the breeze was light and gentle, the sound of the waves and smell of the sea setting her at ease until she heard footsteps making her glance over to see the young man named Marc Eckhaus. He was a bulky young man of sixteen, but he only stood about five foot eight with hazel eyes and clean cut raven black hair. He smirked as he stepped closer to her.
“Had enough of the loud noise?” She asked as he stopped beside her.
“Well who would enjoy listening to the obnoxious sounds when they could stand out here with you?” He said making her glance at him quickly. “A princess should be in the company of a true prince not wandering about a ship by herself.” He reached out to grab her arm but she backed away.
“Yeah well I’m just going to bed.” She told him and started for one of the walkways to the left that lead to the rooms. She was halfway down the walkway when she felt a tight grip on her arm that yanked and pulled her tight against something hard. As she looked up, she found it was the large chest of Marc. “What the hell?” She struggled to free herself, pulling away but he held her tight and at some point during the struggle, he had backed her up against the wall. “Let go of me!” She yelled as she tried to swing her fists but they did little damage if any at All.
“Come now princess, your brother will have the throne as he is the male heir, I can give you a throne as my queen when I become the king of Kothus.” He mused before he smashed his lips against hers. She squirmed and turned, breaking the kiss.
“Help! Someone!” She hollered but he only laughed at her. “Let go of me! Help!” She tried again.
“They’re all too busy eating, drinking and being merry.” He chuckled. He bent to pull her to him and kiss her again but a hard knock to the side of his head sent him several steps back. He stumbled and nearly fell before he caught sight of his elder, half brother, Robert kneeling beside the collapsed Liliana. Robert looked at her with clear blue eyes, assessing if she had been hurt before his blue eyes hardened and he stood to face his brother.
“What the hell do you think you were doing?” He asked Marc. “You think you can just force yourself on any woman but one of these days you’re going to get your ass handed to you. Where are the manors mother instilled into each of us? You never treat a lady, let alone a princess as such.” He said and watched as Marc rolled his eyes.
“You finish that sentence and I will break your jaw.” Robert warned. Marc took a step forward to challenge him, Robert was smaller than he was and frail looking compared to his large build, he could easily win. Nevertheless, something in the way Robert shifted his weight made the younger brother stop. “Go back to your room before Mother is told of this.” Marc mumbled as he made his way to his room down the dark walkway. Robert turned back to Liliana who had gotten back to her feet but still stood with her back against the wall. “You okay?”
“I’m fine.” Was all she said before she turned and ran into her room, slamming the door behind her. Robert sighed. Why was it he had to follow his brother and fix all the trouble he and their mother caused. What had he done to deserve this punishment? He wondered as he retreated to his own room for the night, thinking about the smart girl from his school. He had had this need to protect her from danger. He had seen her and the others attacked on earth, had seen Julian pulling her to his realm and just now with his brother. It was as if his body moved before his brain processed what was going on. He could not shake her honey colored eyes from his mind.